For the last few decades, I’ve loved listening to popular music of the 1910s, ‘20s, and ‘30s. They can be Tin Pan Alley songs, songs from popular Broadway or theatre shows of the era, or recordings of vaudeville performers who were captured on shellac before all memory of their performances faded away.
These old 78s captured a vitality, brightness, and joy along with sharp musicianship: the energy and craft of these performances make for constant delight. Occasional cringes, yes, but mostly delight.
78Prof’s YouTube Channel collects hundreds of popular songs from this period and, wonderfully, breaks them into collections by year. And not only music from the early 20th Century: he has collections of songs by playlists from 1926 through 1966. His Miscellaneous Playlists also look enticing!
Original Dance Music of the 1920s / 1930s, Vol. 1 (Amazon) -- I own this collection. Very good set!
Favorites of the Roaring Twenties (Amazon) — Another favorite collection of mine.
Free 20s Jazz Collection (Internet Archive) — 100+ songs, all downloadable.
78 RPMs and Cylinder Recordings (Internet Archive)